A tough week this week, starting with a Surrey match where we were 3-0 ahead and really should have won, but all credit to Wimbledon for winning the three remaining games.
Then came three Thames Valley League matches against strong opposition in which we failed to win a single game. Given the circumstances, though, we were far from disgraced and managed some creditable draws against higher rated opponents. The standards in all divisions are a lot higher than last season, with players returning after Covid and the modernised league rules attracting more strong players.
There were outstanding draws for Alex, Barry and Dan playing for Richmond D against Ealing B.
Hammersmith A were pretty close to full strength against our TVA team and took the professional route, winning with white and drawing with black. Again, some great individual results.
A slightly disappointing result. We lost every board where we were playing black and drew each board where we were playing white. Hammersmith certainly put out a strong team and it showed on this night.
Perhaps Hammersmith’s captain made a special effort to get together a strong team, to get some sort of revenge after we clinched 2nd place from them last season in a final match. However, this is just speculation and I am trying to add a bit of interest to this match report as there were no spectacular results from our team this time.
Losses on our even boards 2, 4, and 6 featured the Queen’s Gambit Declined, Alekhine Defence, and Scotch Opening respectively.
Our draws featured the Trompowsky Opening played by Gavin, I am not sure what happened in John’s game and an irregular double fianchetto defence against d4 in Maks’s game.
With a few unavailabilities for our team as well as our B-team playing on the same night it would seem we gave it our best shot. Once again thanks to everyone who played and at least there were some fairly interesting games.
Commendations to Gavin, John, and Maks for 3 respectable draws against higher-rated opponents.
Having the A and B teams playing on the same day was unfortunate, but sometimes these things can’t be helped. Otherwise, our B team would have been two boards stronger, but it did give others the opportunity for a game.
Again our top boards excelled themselves against formidable opposition, with Jon apparently being close to a win, but our lower boards were unable to exploit their rating advantage.
Let’s hope for better luck – and a few wins – in next week’s matches.